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Political Editors / Apr. 11, 2016

Obama Taints FBI's Clinton Email Probe

He again influenced the investigation with public comments.

Barack Obama blew another dog whistle at the FBI, seeking to influence its investigation into the possible security threat Hillary Clinton posed by an unsecured email server during her tenure as secretary of state. “I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI — not just in this case, but in any case,” Obama told Fox News during an interview aired Sunday. “Nobody is above the law. How many times do I have to say it?”

Recently, the FBI started questioning longtime Clinton aides regarding the politician’s email habits, signaling that the bureau was getting close to concluding its investigation. But despite Obama’s doublespeak claims to the contrary, he can influence how the law looks on Clinton. Later in the interview, Obama asserted, “I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security. Now what I’ve also said is that — and she has acknowledged — that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing emails, that she has owned, and she recognizes.”

After comments like those, how could Attorney General Loretta Lynch buck the will of her boss and charge Clinton with anything more than a slap on the wrist? As the Wall Street Journal editorial board pointed out, “A more scrupulous President would have begged off the question by claiming that he can’t comment on an ongoing investigation in a department he supervises. So saying anything was bad enough. But even more notable was Mr. Obama’s use of the word ‘intentionally’ regarding Mrs. Clinton’s actions. As a lawyer, the President knows that intent is often crucial to determining criminal liability. And he went out of his way — twice — to suggest that what Mrs. Clinton did wasn’t intentional but was mere ‘carelessness, in terms of managing emails.’” Obama signaled once again that he wants Clinton to be the heir to his legacy, and he will do anything — even publicly perverting an investigation — so one of his former cabinet members won’t receive what she is rightfully due.

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